Just three little hills........ hahaha
This insane Challenge called Hyner View has been a part of my world for the past decade.
My dad has been a monster of a trail runner since I was born
I remember going to Ohio for a whole weekend to play in cricks and watch him tread along for 100 Miles through the night in the dark aid station to aid station we'd trail him on his unthinkable feat.
My mum and dad had me doing 5k races every summer and groundhog day from the age of 7......we'd get up every morning before school and run 3 miles....it was just a part of my life.
I grew up a bit, and got out of running not wanting to kill myself for the endorphins that were sure to come after all the pain and sweat
Then came Hyner..................first year was my first year of college at IUP. I hadn't ran extensively in years but I was all about going to exercise classes at the gym and my whole family was going to do it so i thought, why the hell not?
Went, was amazed, did it. Done.
Never thought this would be the biggest event every April in PA for me and my trail running family from Punxsy and out here in the pawilds.
This shit is definitely NOT for the birds.... or the weak of heart
Every year that begins anew I start training for Hyner and ask myself why the hell am I doing this? As I get to the starting line and know the fate that is before me for the next grueling 4 ish hours I again tell myself, "i'm never doing this again" lolol
Never fails, after all said and done and the beer has been drank and the soreness has gone away after 2-3 days we're signed up for next year ! lol
Long distance running is some kind of torturous fun.......the feeling of achievement in knowing you can accomplish such an incredible physical and mental challenge is such a rush.
In my mind, I think of Hyner Race Day as a loving event.... like a teddy bear that I'm waiting every year to squeeze again
But when I'm actually in the thick of it the mountains are for real. The rocks are endless as are the roots and the usual 40 some crossings of creeks was especially insane this year with raging waters up to my knees
shoes soaked and holding what seemed like 5 gallons of water each
mudslides that held us back 30 minutes after the first mile of our journey
telling myself over and over "I'm going to walk the last 5 miles after SOB..." and then I start chatting with a woman who just ran a 50 miler last weekend and finished 30 some miles of it!!! what the hell......if she can do that, I can surely do this....
So I start moving forward, placing one foot in front of another at a faster rate than before....pretty soon I'm back in a groove.... then the mind chatter comes over me again as I confirm the pain in my hips and knees as "horrible...." "not okay..." lol all that and finally hobbling down the last hill....a friend runs by encouraging me, "let's go Adrienne !" so I push and continue to rise above what I didn't think was possible before and RUN my way across the bridge for the last mile and up the killer finish hill to the finish line <3
This year time of 4:47 (that's hours and minutes) and feeling SO GOOD about that time (last years was 4:07 but the trails had nowhere near the water we had this year) and by the way beating everyone I came with - my dad, Dane, Craig, and Gary and nephew Gunnar !!! lol that's right guys
The heavens were with us holding back the thunder storms during the morning of the race and sprinkling only dribbles that felt like a splash of inspiration during times when I thought for sure I had to stop out of dehydration.... all of it is magical and I can't even understand it with my head...its just all heart
Running has become a major therapy for me
Space to get out there and let myself meditate on anything going on that isn't sitting right.... a space to clear my head completely and focus on my body sensation and my breath for miles on end....to breathe in the fresh air and feel the nature all around me....to cope with my emotional state and get to the point of realizing
"this really isn't that bad at all what you're going through and you can and will persevere"
Running got me outta depression when I didn't know which direction to go in life or how to express my gifts and cares in the world. Getting on my feet and going out there is the best thing for my body, my heart, my soul, and definitely my mind. Running isn't for everyone........but those who do it get it
you'll never feel as good as on a runner's high .... in a masochistic kind of way ;)
THATS THE BEST ABOUT RUNNING AND ESPECIALLY THIS DAMN RACE : challenging your mind with your body to accomplish more than you ever thought possible. going beyond comfort and pushing through pain just like the other 1,400 people are doing around you on these brutal trails. Surprising yourself when you think you can't go on that actually you can and you will. And not really understanding how all the pain and suffering amounts to feelings of satisfaction and excitement at the end but its the truth
I always say I won't do this again......but I'm sure you'll all see me out in Sproul State Forest again in 2020.....
so much love to all you trail runners out there !